Whosoever Will Be Saved

Each year on Trinity Sunday our community follows two traditions: Firstly, we recite the Athanasian Creed after our conventual Mass, and secondly, we all renew our religious vows.  The Athanasian Creed, which has been recited by Christians since the sixth century, is a beautiful exposition of our belief in the Holy Trinity.  It was composed in response to the heresy of the Arians, who believed the Son was created, and therefore subordinate to the Father.  In medieval times the creed was set often set to music, and though we looked, we haven’t found any examples to share with you.

Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is all One, the Glory Equal, the Majesty Co-Eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father Uncreate, the Son Uncreate, and the Holy Ghost Uncreate. The Father Incomprehensible, the Son Incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost Incomprehensible. The Father Eternal, the Son Eternal, and the Holy Ghost Eternal and yet they are not Three Eternals but One Eternal. As also there are not Three Uncreated, nor Three Incomprehensibles, but One Uncreated, and One Incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not Three Almighties but One Almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not Three Gods, but One God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not Three Lords but One Lord. For, like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be Godand Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion to say, there be Three Gods or Three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father, and of the Son neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

So there is One Father, not Three Fathers; one Son, not Three Sons; One Holy Ghost, not Three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is afore or after Other, None is greater or less than Another, but the whole Three Persons are Co-eternal together, and Co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity.

Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting Salvation, that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.

God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the substance of His mother, born into the world. Perfect God and Perfect Man, of a reasonable Soul and human Flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood. Who, although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but One Christ. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into Flesh, but by taking of the Manhood into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by Unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one Man, so God and Man is one Christ. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into Hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into Heaven, He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.

Detail of Russian icon depicting bishops at Second Council of Nicea.

Trinity Sunday

MedievalAbstraction5Today we celebrate the central mystery of the Christian faith, and one that sets us apart from every other religion: the Holy Trinity – One God in Three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Our religious order also celebrates the tradition of renewing our vows communally on this day. We think of today’s feast as the gateway to a slew of solemnities and feasts which occur after the close of the Easter season: Corpus Christi, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. John the Baptist, and Sts. Peter and Paul.  In the monastery all these celebrations can be a little exhausting, but we are grateful for the wisdom of the liturgical calendar, which gives us times of “ordinary” joy, and times of extraordinary joy.

Here is the Holy Father’s Sunday Angelus address from earlier today, speaking about the feast of the Holy Trinity:

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning and good Sunday!

Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Trinity, that reminds of the mystery of the one God in three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is the communion of Divine Persons who are with one another, for one another, in one Continue reading

Unity and Charity

Our tradition as Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration is to renew our vows every year on Trinity Sunday.  God gave us an extra special gift today:   some of our friars are in town and celebrated Mass for us! photo-90 It was such a blessing to renew our vows with our friar priests in our little house chapel.  Fr. Paschal celebrated Mass, and Fr. Leonard preached a brief, but beautiful, homily on the Trinity as the source of our unity and charity.  photo-91

We renew our vows right before Holy Communion.   As the priest holds the Sacred Host before each sister, she consecrates her life to adoration of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.photo-89

As Fr. Leonard reminded us in his homily, the Trinity is present, in all Its operations, in the Holy Eucharist.  May each of us, religious and laity alike, truly take advantage of all the graces available to us whenever we worthily receive Holy Communion.

For in that Trinity is the supreme source of all things, and the most perfect beauty, and the most blessed delight.  

-St. Augustine